I couldn't possibly read "Alone with the Horrors" straight through in one sitting. Ramsey Campbell has the gift of isolating his readers from their comfortable surroundings (I read these stories sitting next to our Christmas tree, surrounded by snoring cats), and plunging them into a freezing, lightless abyss. I wouldn't recommend more than one or two stories at a time. Those readers already depressed should not read them at all. I've become literally ill reading some of this author's stories, e.g. "The Guide," "The Chimney," and "The Companion"---not grossed out as after a Stephen King story, but sick with horror. There has not been an author of supernatural terror like this one since the heyday of M.R. James.
Although "Alone with the Horrors" is an almost complete compendium of Campbell's short fiction from 1961 - 1991, such tales as "The Guide" are excluded as they were written in a style not entirely his own ("The Guide" was written after the manner of M.R. James.) The following is a sample of the included stories:
"The Tower of Yuggoth" (1961) - My advice to editors of short story collections is, for the new reader's sake, don't arrange the stories in order by date written. Campbell's first published story is a Lovecraft pastiche, complete with the scion of a decayed New England family tottering about the sinister, moon-lit swamps, and doing unspeakable business with the Elder Gods. He is driven mad by the sight of "the ebony void of space" and the creatures that crawl about there, but he lives long enough (naturally) to gasp out twenty pages of Lovecraftian drivel. I wish the rule-of-exclusion had been applied to "The Tower of Yuggoth" instead of "The Guide."
(There are so many humans doing business with the Elder Gods these days, you'd think They'd form a franchise and open outlets at the local malls.)
"The Interloper" (1968) - Two schoolboys visit "The Catacombs" during lunch break. It turns out not to be a music club. If Ramsey Campbell really had teachers like the ones he depicts in this story (be sure to read his introduction to this collection), I can understand where he gets the inspiration for his horror fiction. Don't let your kids read this story. They'll never go back to school.
"The Companion" (1973) - So much great horror takes place at carnivals, and this story is one of the best. It scared the bejaysus out of Stephen King (see his nonfiction book on horror, "Danse Macabre") and it did the same to me.
"The Chimney" (1975) - A young boy is afraid of what might come down the chimney in his bedroom on Christmas Eve. I thought I had wrung all of the terror out of this story once the boy grew up and became a librarian, but I was wrong. "The Chimney" saves its gut-punch for the very end.
"Hearing is Believing" (1979)--Have you ever had a dream with multiple awakenings, each one more horrible than the last? In a sense, this story epitomizes the whole book. It is "The Tower of Yuggoth" distilled by twenty-eight years of practice into something much more horrible than any tentacled thing that cracked open the sky above New England.